Project Title: Humidity Control in Spacesuits

Paragon Space Development Corp. logoTeam 15036 Members:
Hailey Davenport, biomedical engineering
Dakota Luepke, materials science and engineering
Joel Mintz, biomedical engineering
Kathryn Pflueger, biomedical engineering
Andrew Siemens, mechanical engineering
Lindsay Small, systems engineering

Sponsor: Paragon Space Development Corp.

Helping astronauts breathe a little easier

Dakota Luepke talks with rest of Team 15036 about the next steps on their project.Water buildup inside spacesuits can lead to a host of equipment problems. Conversely, portable life support systems installed in spacesuits tend to overdesiccate breathable air, causing discomfort for astronauts.

Team 15036 aims to alleviate both issues by improving water reclamation inside spacesuits.

The dry air is caused by the Rapid Cycle Amine system, or RCA, which removes waste carbon dioxide. The students are using the Nafion bundle technology developed by project sponsor Paragon Space Development Corp. to divert a small amount of moisture from the RCA.

“One of our biggest hurdles is figuring out whether to put the Nafion bundles in a series or parallel configuration,” said team member Kathryn Pflueger. “We will also have to think about the effect of zero gravity.”

The team has already constructed a mathematical model for the system. They expect to begin building and testing their prototype at the Paragon labs in March, after presenting their detailed design and model to the company for final approval.